Research Associate for DESCANT Project - “TAG” Multidisciplinary Research Group (MRG)

Vacancies / Job Listings / Research Associate for DESCANT Project - “TAG” Multidisciplinary Research Group (MRG)
Deadline: 13 December. 2019
Location: Research Centre on Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies, Nicosia, Cyprus
Type: A one-year employment contract with an option to renew based on performance, includes a very attractive remuneration package according to qualifications and experience

Research Associate for DESCANT Project - “Transparency in Algorithms” Multidisciplinary Research Group (MRG)


Application Deadline: December 13, 2019 (priority given to applications received by December 6, 2019)

Preferred Start Date: January 7, 2019

RISE - the Research Centre on Interactive Media, Smart System and Emerging Technologies – RISE ( announces a vacancy for a full-time Research Associate  in the Transparency in Algorithms Group (TAG) of RISE to support a new externally-funded project, DESCANT: DEtecting Stereotypes in human ComputAtioN Tasks. DESCANT is funded for a term of 24 months under the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation’s Excellence Hubs Program, beginning 1 December 2019.
RISE is a newly founded research centre of excellence in Nicosia, Cyprus. RISE is a significant investment supported by the European Commission, the Republic of Cyprus and its founding Partners, the Municipality of Nicosia, Max Planck Institute, University College London, the University of Cyprus, the Cyprus University of Technology and the Open University of Cyprus.
The Centre conducts excellent, internationally competitive scientific research in the areas of visual sciences, human factors and design, communication, and artificial intelligence delivered by high-calibre multidisciplinary research teams. RISE engages in knowledge transfer and innovation activities aiming to bridge the gap between scientific research and STEM-led innovation and entrepreneurship.

There is no shortage of media coverage on popular systems (e.g., search engines, machine translators, chat bots) that have been observed exhibiting sexist or racist behaviours. The research community is making serious attempts to better understand how social biases end up in these systems and what can and should be done to redress this. Recent research has made it clear that systems and algorithms trained on human-produced data exhibit the same implicit biases – such as the expression of racial and gender stereotypes – that humans do. Although the source of the training data for these systems varies, DESCANT focuses specifically on systems that leverage paid micro-tasks crowdsourcing. The project extends upon our previous work, which focused on developing conceptual and computational models to detect stereotypes in search engine results. In DESCANT, we will generalize the approach, carrying out experiments on micro-tasks involving a number of different media (i.e., judgments on a variety of characteristics of images, sound files, and video). Based on our results, we shall develop a set of guidelines for researchers and entrepreneurs who use microtask crowdsourcing, which will help them to understand how the design of their human intelligence tasks might result in stereotyped data and will offer alternative solutions depending on their goals.
Job Description

The successful candidate will be conducting applied research in the area of crowdsourcing / human computation, in close collaboration with the TAG (leader: Dr. J. Otterbacher) and BIO-SCENT (leader: Prof. Andreas Lanitis) research groups at RISE, as well as with Dr. Gianluca Demartini at the University of Queensland, the external partner on the project. The researcher will also participate in the preparation of high-impact publications and travel abroad for dissemination activities, as well as to support the DESCANT project’s reports and deliverables. In addition, she or he will be able to participate in the preparation of research proposals for additional funding, in order to extend the duration of the position.
  • Ph.D. in one of the following areas or a related area:
    computer science, data science, information science, information retrieval, social computing. Exceptional candidates holding an MSc may also be considered.
  • High-impact research publications (a must for PhD holders/an advantage for non-PhD holders).
  • Intermediate to advanced programming skills for data collection and manipulation, preferably in Python.
  • Knowledge of advanced statistical techniques and concepts (regression, properties of distributions, statistical tests and proper usage, etc.) and experience with applications.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in the English language.
  • For non-EU applicants a work permit will be required.
  • Previous experience using crowdsourcing platforms is considered an advantage.
  • Previous grant-writing experience is considered an advantage.


A very attractive remuneration package will be offered to successful candidate according to qualifications and experience. Membership to RISE Employee Medical Scheme and RISE Provident Fund.

Application Process

Interested candidates should submit the following items via email to 
and use the Email subject line: “Application: Research Associate TAG-DESCANT"
  1. A cover letter which clearly specifies (i) employment availability date, (ii) part-time and/or full-time availability and (iii) rationale on why you think you would be a good fit for the DESCANT project.
  2. A detailed CV.
  3. Description of academic and research experiences as well as any relevant industrial experience where applicable (500 words maximum).
  4. Copies of degree certificates (BSc/MSc/PhD).
  5. Two representative publications (if applicable).
  6. Contact details of two referees who can comment on your suitability for the above position (e.g., university professors / research supervisors, or industry referee).
Note that if you previously applied for a post at RISE, a new application is required.

Deadline: Friday, December 13, 2019 (priority given to applications received by Friday, December 6, 2019)

For general inquiries, applicants may contact the HR Department of the Research Centre on Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies at

The applicants may address any technical or research related inquiries to the Transparency in Algorithms MRG team leader and DESCANT project coordinator, Dr. Jahna Otterbacher at

 All applications are treated in the strictest confidence.

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